Tuesday, August 28, 2012

An Excellent Way To Get Customers To Lie To You

I'm in Pohanka Collision getting an estimate on my car (short story: got into a fender bender, I'm not at fault, all's good) when I notice the following on their counter:

That would be a flyer about the Wounded Warrior Project. How smart, I thought: they give to a worthy cause, and in return, I get to feel a little better about spending the insurance company's money here. Then I read the fine print. I wasn't able to jot it down or get a clear photograph, but here's what it essentially said: (which appears in a press release from the company)

Currently, for each USAA vehicle customer satisfaction survey that receives all top ratings – or “10s” – this impressive Pohanka collision center will donate 10% of the deductable to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Got that? You have a choice: rate them all 10's and give to this charity, or give them any other rating, and miss out on the chance.

What the heck?

We get a similar schtick from Acura when we buy our cars there. The salesmen makes it clear: anything less than a perfect score on the survey means dire consequences for him, his family and his pets.

So, we usually play along -- after all, the experience has been essentially good, so why not make life easier for all and give the perfect score these companies are so desperate for.

But of course, the people who they are really losing out with these shenanigans is the companies themselves. They're going to great lengths to ace the test, yet it's only through getting a few questions wrong that they might realize where they can improve.

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